Track-and-field team looking for young athletes
Q. I am interested in outdoor track for my elementary child. Does the Y have a track team?
A. Unfortunately, we do not. My son, husband and I are and are part of the Salisbury Speedsters, a local track team. This track-and-field club focuses on the development of athletes from 5 to18 years old. We just started our practices last week and will take new athletes today or Tuesday this week. Spots are limited.
If you are interested, here is some information. We practice 6-7:30 p.m. three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Salisbury High School track. When daylight hours get longer and hotter, we start at 6:30 p.m. When we have a big meet coming up, we add Wednesdays, but not until May or June.
The starting cost is $20 for an AAU card, plus $100 in club fees and uniform fees, which cost about $64 for elementary children. Other cost will be travel fees, and entry fees, which range from $3 to $10 for most events. State, regional and nationals cost $25 to $40, once athletes qualify. Since we are a traveling team, there are also costs for lodging and transportation. Most meets are within driving distance, though the nationals are in New Orleans this year. We have fundraisers to offset some of the cost.
In terms of track workouts, the first part of the season is mainly about conditioning and getting the body ready for more. Closer to the first meet, we start running faster, doing lots of intervals and working on techniques. It depends what your child is going to run or throw.
There is a difference between our sprint workouts ó 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter events ó and mid distance workouts ó 800 meter, 1500 meter and 3000 mete. There are also different workouts for different field events, such as discus, shot put, javelin, and long jump.
Our head coach Tim Dunlap and out other coaches are focused on the development of young athletes. Whatever talent they have, we look at the big picture and strive to treat each child with the same care. We want them to run in high school and college.
If you push a young child too much and work their bodies too hard they will get hurt or get burned out and give up a sport. Most importantly, we want them to have fun, work hard, and build wonderful relationships with team members and other athletes.
We make sure not to over-train oathletes and encourage them to constantly communicate with us.
The AAU/USA Track and Field is a competitive sport and not everyone is a winner. Our number one priority is to improve your child on whatever level he or she may be.
With the focus on development, fundamentals, enjoyment of track and field, our athletes put out a great effort and enjoy wonderful results. As our records show, we are a small team but we broke records last year and had state and regional champions. We even had a national champion and rankings in the top of this country.
Salisbury Speedsters run mostly in AAU sanctioned events, but also in USATF sanctioned events. Competing in both organizations gives our athletes more exposure and different athletes to compete against.
So, when you join us expect high-quality coaching, a wholesome Christian atmosphere, true team spirit and dedicated children and parents. Expect your meet season to be from the end of April to the first week in August and to be at a meet most Saturdays from about 8 a.m. to at least 5 p.m.
Regional and national championships can be up to a week long.
We bring canopies for shade, even on the bleachers, and coolers with healthy food and drinks. Expect you and your to make new friends.
Expect your child to become a respectful winner and learn to accept defeats. They learn to look at the big picture, to be excited when they improve their personal-best times, even if they did not place in the top three.
This is my third season and each year my experience exceeded all my expectations and I am excited to start this season. For more information, you can call head coach Tim Dunlap at 704-754-2595.
Ester Marsh ACSM Cpt Associate Executive and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA.